news biden approves disaster declaration for buchanan tazwell but bad news no individual assistance
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Biden approves disaster declaration for Buchanan, Tazewell: No individual assistance

buchanan county flood
Photo courtesy Gladys Jennings.

President Biden has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Buchanan County and Tazewell County in response to devastating flooding in the Southwest Virginia region in July.

Bad news there, though: the declaration approved Friday by the president does not include individual assistance.

According to a press release from the White House, assistance under the declaration is to the state and to local governments, and to private nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding and mudslides.

A July 12-13 storm dumped six inches of rain on the region, damaging more than 100 homes, and leaving many residents in danger of additional flooding every time it rains, due to damage done to rivers and streams.

The declaration from President Biden leaves open the possibility that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the Commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Homeowners in the area had been hoping to be able to tap into individual assistance grants, but according to FEMA, there have only been three federal individual assistance declarations made in the past 20 years – two associated with hurricanes, the third with a 2011 earthquake.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].